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June 2010 President’s Report For City of Toronto members

Dear Fellow Local 79 Member,

Earlier this year, Local 79 met with City staff regarding upcoming office relocations in the Employment and Social Services Division, and the related concerns of members. The Division presented a detailed update of the planned new locations and expects the changes to be completed by September of this year. Local 79 will work with the Division to ensure that transfer requests are accommodated in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Collective Agreement. There will be further meetings once final decisions have been made.

In April, more than four hundred front-line leaders from public sector unions in the GTA packed the room at the Public Sector Leadership Summit. The Toronto and York Region Labour Council called the meeting to develop a common response to the attack taking place on public services and public sector workers. Many Local 79 members were in attendance as well as Local 79 Stewards and members of the Executive. Noted speakers included economist Armine Yalnizyan and Steelworkers Canadian Director Ken Neumann. All unions were invited to join a major campaign for public services being launched by the Good Jobs for All coalition. Following the Summit, public sector unions agreed to have a small representative group, including Local 79, work with the Good Jobs for All coalition on devising a major outreach campaign linking public services being vital to the quality of life of everyone, and our communities.

As of June 15, 2010, Bill 168 requires employers in Ontario to assess the risks of workplace violence, and to put in place policies and programmes regarding workplace violence and workplace harassment. The legislation amends the Occupational Health & Safety Act and now defines workplace violence as a hazard. This legislation is an important first step to addressing workplace violence. Bill 168, if properly enforced, will begin to protect workers against workplace violence and harassment. Workers now have the right to refuse work if they believe they are at risk due to violence. Employers must also take precautions to protect workers from domestic violence if it crosses into the workplace.

On June 26th and 27th, Toronto will host the G 20 Summit. The City has announced that all programmes and services, with the exception of the child care centre and the Toronto Employment and Social Services office / Employment Centre, both located on the main floor of Metro Hall, will operate as usual. The City Manager has also suggested that City staff who park at Metro Hall use public transit and not drive into the downtown core during the week of Monday June 21 to Friday June 25. Roadways within the area bordered by King Street, Yonge Street, Queens Quay and Spadina Avenue – will experience closures or restrictions. This perimeter is not a fence; it is the point at which vehicular traffic will engage with a Toronto Police Service officer, and this engagement may take some time.

On Sunday July 4th, Local 79 will have an entry in Toronto’s annual Pride Parade. Members who would like to participate should meet at 1:00 p.m. on Bloor Street, between Church & Jarvis, and look for our entry. There will be music by Stoneboat, and a limited number of CUPE Local 79 t-shirts will be available. You must bring your union membership card to receive one. For more information, please call Linda Rose at 416-977-1629 ext. 222.

The Local 79 Annual Retirees’ Recognition and Awards Tea will be held on Thursday, June 17. This event recognizes the contribution of our active retirees, and is an opportunity for Local 79 to express our appreciation for their efforts. Our retirees always tell us how much they enjoy seeing old friends and meeting new ones at this event.

Local 79’s annual Summer Picnic will be on Wednesday, July 14th and Thursday, July 15th at Centre Island – Area 23, starting at 10:30 a.m. both days. This is one of Local 79’s most popular and enjoyable events, and all members are invited and encouraged to attend. Members are responsible for the ferry charge. The cost for the picnic is $8.00 per person, entitling you to one amusement pass and one meal ticket. You will also be able to purchase these separately at a cost of $5.00 for the amusement pass and $3.00 for the meal ticket. Remember to bring your union membership card or a recent pay stub for a great day of summer fun.

In solidarity,

Ann Dembinski
President

 

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